Concise Communication

Abstract

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is associated with the emergence of persistent negative emotional states during drug abstinence that drive compulsive drug taking and seeking. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in rats identified neurocircuits that were activated by stimuli that were previously paired with heroin withdrawal. The activation of amygdala and hypothalamic circuits was related to the degree of heroin dependence, supporting the significance of conditioned negative affect in sustaining compulsive-like heroin seeking and taking and providing neurobiological insights into the drivers of the current opioid crisis.

Authors

Stephanie A. Carmack, Robin J. Keeley, Janaina C.M. Vendruscolo, Emily G. Lowery-Gionta, Hanbing Lu, George F. Koob, Elliot A. Stein, Leandro F. Vendruscolo

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Abstract

Ischemic stroke is a predominant cause of disability worldwide, with thrombolytic or mechanical removal of the occlusion being the only therapeutic option. Reperfusion bears the risk of an acute deleterious calcium-dependent breakdown of the blood-brain barrier. Its mechanism, however, is unknown. Here, we identified type 5 NADPH oxidase (NOX5), a calcium-activated, ROS-forming enzyme, as the missing link. Using a humanized knockin (KI) mouse model and in vitro organotypic cultures, we found that reoxygenation or calcium overload increased brain ROS levels in a NOX5-dependent manner. In vivo, postischemic ROS formation, infarct volume, and functional outcomes were worsened in NOX5-KI mice. Of clinical and therapeutic relevance, in a human blood-barrier model, pharmacological NOX inhibition also prevented acute reoxygenation-induced leakage. Our data support further evaluation of poststroke recanalization in the presence of NOX inhibition for limiting stroke-induced damage.

Authors

Ana I. Casas, Pamela W.M. Kleikers, Eva Geuss, Friederike Langhauser, Thure Adler, Dirk H. Busch, Valerie Gailus-Durner, Martin Hrabê de Angelis, Javier Egea, Manuela G. Lopez, Christoph Kleinschnitz, Harald H.H.W. Schmidt

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Abstract

BRAF and CRAF are critical components of the MAPK signaling pathway which is activated in many cancer types. In approximately 1% of melanomas, BRAF or CRAF are activated through structural arrangements. We describe here a metastatic melanoma with a GOLGA4-RAF1 fusion and pathogenic variants in CTNNB1 and CDKN2A. Anti-CTLA4/anti-PD1 combination immunotherapy failed to control tumor progression. In the absence of other actionable variants the patient was administered MEK inhibitor therapy on the basis of its potential action against RAF1 fusions. This resulted in a profound and clinically significant response. We demonstrated that GOLGA4-RAF1 expression was associated with ERK activation, elevated expression of the RAS/RAF downstream co-effector ETV5, and a high Ki67 index. These findings provide a rationale for the dramatic response to targeted therapy. This study shows that thorough molecular characterization of treatment-resistant cancers can identify therapeutic targets and personalize management, leading to improved patient outcomes.

Authors

Christopher R. McEvoy, Huiling Xu, Kortnye Smith, Dariush Etemadmoghadam, Huei San Leong, David Y. Choong, David J. Byrne, Amir Iravani, Sophie Beck, Linda Mileshkin, Richard W. Tothill, David D. Bowtell, Bindi M. Bates, Violeta Nastevski, Judy Browning, Anthony H. Bell, Chloe Khoo, Jayesh Desai, Andrew P. Fellowes, Stephen B. Fox, Owen W.J. Prall

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Abstract

Carrying the ε4 allele of the APOE gene encoding apolipoprotein E (APOE4) markedly increases the risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in which APOE4 exacerbates the brain accumulation and subsequent deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. While the LDL receptor–related protein 1 (LRP1) is a major apoE receptor in the brain, we found that its levels are associated with those of insoluble Aβ depending on APOE genotype status in postmortem AD brains. Thus, to determine the functional interaction of apoE4 and LRP1 in brain Aβ metabolism, we crossed neuronal LRP1-knockout mice with amyloid model APP/PS1 mice and APOE3–targeted replacement (APO3-TR) or APOE4-TR mice. Consistent with previous findings, mice expressing apoE4 had increased Aβ deposition and insoluble amounts of Aβ40 and Aβ42 in the hippocampus of APP/PS1 mice compared with those expressing apoE3. Intriguingly, such effects were reversed in the absence of neuronal LRP1. Neuronal LRP1 deficiency also increased detergent-soluble apoE4 levels, which may contribute to the inhibition of Aβ deposition. Together, our results suggest that apoE4 exacerbates Aβ pathology through a mechanism that depends on neuronal LRP1. A better understanding of apoE isoform–specific interaction with their metabolic receptor LRP1 on Aβ metabolism is crucial for defining APOE4-related risk for AD.

Authors

Masaya Tachibana, Marie-Louise Holm, Chia-Chen Liu, Mitsuru Shinohara, Tomonori Aikawa, Hiroshi Oue, Yu Yamazaki, Yuka A. Martens, Melissa E. Murray, Patrick M. Sullivan, Kathrin Weyer, Simon Glerup, Dennis W. Dickson, Guojun Bu, Takahisa Kanekiyo

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Abstract

Septic patients frequently develop cognitive impairment that persists beyond hospital discharge. The impact of sepsis on electrophysiological and molecular determinants of learning is underexplored. We observed that mouse survivors of sepsis or endotoxemia experienced loss of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-mediated process responsible for spatial memory formation. Memory impairment occurred despite preserved hippocampal BDNF content and could be reversed by stimulation of BDNF signaling, suggesting the presence of a local BDNF inhibitor. Sepsis is associated with degradation of the endothelial glycocalyx, releasing heparan sulfate fragments (of sufficient size and sulfation to bind BDNF) into the circulation. Heparan sulfate fragments penetrated the hippocampal blood-brain barrier during sepsis and inhibited BDNF-mediated LTP. Glycoarray approaches demonstrated that heparan sulfate’s avidity for BDNF increased with sulfation at the 2-O-position of iduronic acid and N-position of glucosamine. Circulating heparan sulfate in endotoxemic mice and septic humans was enriched in 2-O- and N-sulfated disaccharides; furthermore, the presence of these sulfation patterns in the plasma of septic patients at intensive care unit (ICU) admission predicted persistent cognitive impairment 14 days after ICU discharge or at hospital discharge. Our findings indicate that circulating 2-O- and N-sulfated heparan sulfate fragments contribute to septic cognitive impairment.

Authors

Joseph A. Hippensteel, Brian J. Anderson, James E. Orfila, Sarah A. McMurtry, Robert M. Dietz, Guowei Su, Joshay A. Ford, Kaori Oshima, Yimu Yang, Fuming Zhang, Xiaorui Han, Yanlei Yu, Jian Liu, Robert J. Linhardt, Nuala J. Meyer, Paco S. Herson, Eric P. Schmidt

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Abstract

Authors

Parisa Malekzadeh, Anna Pasetto, Paul F. Robbins, Maria R. Parkhurst, Biman C. Paria, Li Jia, Jared J. Gartner, Victoria Hill, Zhiya Yu, Nicholas P. Restifo, Abraham Sachs, Eric Tran, Winifred Lo, Robert P.T. Somerville, Steven A. Rosenberg, Drew C. Deniger

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Abstract

Using an integrated approach to characterize the pancreatic tissue and isolated islets from a 33-year-old with 17 years of type 1 diabetes (T1D), we found that donor islets contained β cells without insulitis and lacked glucose-stimulated insulin secretion despite a normal insulin response to cAMP-evoked stimulation. With these unexpected findings for T1D, we sequenced the donor DNA and found a pathogenic heterozygous variant in the gene encoding hepatocyte nuclear factor-1α (HNF1A). In one of the first studies of human pancreatic islets with a disease-causing HNF1A variant associated with the most common form of monogenic diabetes, we found that HNF1A dysfunction leads to insulin-insufficient diabetes reminiscent of T1D by impacting the regulatory processes critical for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and suggest a rationale for a therapeutic alternative to current treatment.

Authors

Rachana Haliyur, Xin Tong, May Sanyoura, Shristi Shrestha, Jill Lindner, Diane C. Saunders, Radhika Aramandla, Greg Poffenberger, Sambra D. Redick, Rita Bottino, Nripesh Prasad, Shawn E. Levy, Raymond D. Blind, David M. Harlan, Louis H. Philipson, Roland W. Stein, Marcela Brissova, Alvin C. Powers

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Abstract

Recurrent broad-scale heterozygous deletions are frequently observed in human cancer. Here we tested the hypothesis that compound haploinsufficiency of neighboring genes at chromosome 8p promotes tumorigenesis. By targeting the mouse orthologs of human DOK2 and DUSP4 genes, which were co-deleted in approximately half of human lung adenocarcinomas, we found that compound-heterozygous deletion of Dok2 and Dusp4 in mice resulted in lung tumorigenesis with short latency and high incidence, and that their co-deletion synergistically activated MAPK signaling and promoted cell proliferation. Conversely, restoration of DOK2 and DUSP4 in lung cancer cells suppressed MAPK activation and cell proliferation. Importantly, in contrast to downregulation of DOK2 or DUSP4 alone, concomitant downregulation of DOK2 and DUSP4 was associated with poor survival in human lung adenocarcinoma. Therefore, our findings lend in vivo experimental support to the notion that compound haploinsufficiency, due to broad-scale chromosome deletions, constitutes a driving force in tumorigenesis.

Authors

Ming Chen, Jiangwen Zhang, Alice H. Berger, Moussa S. Diolombi, Christopher Ng, Jacqueline Fung, Roderick T. Bronson, Mireia Castillo-Martin, Tin Htwe Thin, Carlos Cordon-Cardo, Robin Plevin, Pier Paolo Pandolfi

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Abstract

Replicative immortality is a hallmark of cancer cells governed by telomere maintenance. Approximately 90% of human cancers maintain their telomeres by activating telomerase, driven by the transcriptional upregulation of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). Although TERT promoter mutations (TPMs) are a major cancer-associated genetic mechanism of TERT upregulation, many cancers exhibit TERT upregulation without TPMs. In this study, we describe the TERT hypermethylated oncological region (THOR), a 433-bp genomic region encompassing 52 CpG sites located immediately upstream of the TERT core promoter, as a cancer-associated epigenetic mechanism of TERT upregulation. Unmethylated THOR repressed TERT promoter activity regardless of TPM status, and hypermethylation of THOR counteracted this repressive function. THOR methylation analysis in 1,352 human tumors revealed frequent (>45%) cancer-associated DNA hypermethylation in 9 of 11 (82%) tumor types screened. Additionally, THOR hypermethylation, either independently or along with TPMs, accounted for how approximately 90% of human cancers can aberrantly activate telomerase. Thus, we propose that THOR hypermethylation is a prevalent telomerase-activating mechanism in cancer that can act independently of or in conjunction with TPMs, further supporting the utility of THOR hypermethylation as a prognostic biomarker.

Authors

Donghyun D. Lee, Ricardo Leão, Martin Komosa, Marco Gallo, Cindy H. Zhang, Tatiana Lipman, Marc Remke, Abolfazl Heidari, Nuno Miguel Nunes, Joana D. Apolónio, Aryeh J. Price, Ramon Andrade De Mello, João S. Dias, David Huntsman, Thomas Hermanns, Peter J. Wild, Robert Vanner, Gelareh Zadeh, Jason Karamchandani, Sunit Das, Michael D. Taylor, Cynthia E. Hawkins, Jonathan D. Wasserman, Arnaldo Figueiredo, Robert J. Hamilton, Mark D. Minden, Khalida Wani, Bill Diplas, Hai Yan, Kenneth Aldape, Mohammad R. Akbari, Arnavaz Danesh, Trevor J. Pugh, Peter B. Dirks, Pedro Castelo-Branco, Uri Tabori

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Abstract

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract remains the major cause of morbidity and nonrelapse mortality after BM transplantation (BMT). The Paneth cell protein regenerating islet-derived 3α (REG3α) is a biomarker specific for GI GVHD. REG3α serum levels rose in the systematic circulation as GVHD progressively destroyed Paneth cells and reduced GI epithelial barrier function. Paradoxically, GVHD suppressed intestinal REG3γ (the mouse homolog of human REG3α), and the absence of REG3γ in BMT recipients intensified GVHD but did not change the composition of the microbiome. IL-22 administration restored REG3γ production and prevented apoptosis of both intestinal stem cells (ISCs) and Paneth cells, but this protection was completely abrogated in Reg3g−/− mice. In vitro, addition of REG3α reduced the apoptosis of colonic cell lines. Strategies that increase intestinal REG3α/γ to promote crypt regeneration may offer a novel, nonimmunosuppressive approach for GVHD and perhaps for other diseases involving the ISC niche, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Authors

Dongchang Zhao, Yeung-Hyen Kim, Seihwan Jeong, Joel K. Greenson, Mohammed S. Chaudhry, Matthias Hoepting, Erik R. Anderson, Marcel R.M. van den Brink, Jonathan U. Peled, Antonio L.C. Gomes, Ann E. Slingerland, Michael J. Donovan, Andrew C. Harris, John E. Levine, Umut Ozbek, Lora V. Hooper, Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck, Aaron Ver Heul, Ta-Chiang Liu, Pavan Reddy, James L.M. Ferrara

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